This is Not an After School Special
Helen Macdonald King
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Growing up in Massachusetts in the 70's you were always aware that you were not living in the most evolved of times or places for that matter. I grew up in an affluent town with a great public school system. So great in fact that the ABC program (A Better Chance) bought a house in the town center and filled it with inner-city scholars so they could go to our school. I remember that by the first day of school in September, 2 of the ABC House neighbors had sold their properties in fear and disgust. When I told this to my mother in horror, she said, 'equal opportunity is all well and good, Lauren, until one of those kids marries your daughter'. Not Southie, but not the UN either. I used to take a bus back in forth between my parents houses every weekend when I was a kid. I changed buses at the old Greyhound station on St. James in Boston (gone now.) I kinda thought I was living the glamorous, bi-coastal, life at the time, but that is a whole other story. If I had time in between buses I would hang out in Park Square soaking up the local color. In the mid 70's this sometimes translated to crazy white parents from Southie, hanging out of their cars screaming hateful things that usually began with the letter N. I wanted to begin work on this project, that will hopefully deal with Boston and Charlestown's Forced Busing issues of the mid 1970's from that paranoid point of view. Because as the saying goes, just because you're paranoid (and racist), doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.
Enter Helen Macdonald King, welfare mother of 11 who lost four of her children to crime, violence, and delusion in Southie.